From new year to boo scare By Yazmine Lomax

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While many people think Halloween is an American tradition, it’s actually a Celtic celebration dating back almost 2000 years. What began as a way to ring in the New Year on November 1 has now evolved into a night of dressing up, trick-or-treating, and scoffing the entire contents of a jack-o’-lantern. Australia has been slow to adopt Halloween but it seems like it’s finally found a home Down Under – so, what’s it like on the Peninsula?

It’s all aboard Mornington Railway’s Halloween Spook Train! Each October, the famous traditional steam train undergoes a ghoulish transformation to celebrate the scary season.

“We have a resident ghost or spook who rides the trains, music, platform decorations, train decorations, and face painting on the platform,” says Mornington Railway event co-ordinator Marg Ffrench. “We encourage our volunteers and passengers to dress up in Halloween outfits.”

Marg says more and more passengers are flocking to the spook train every year, reflecting the growing popularity of Halloween on the Peninsula. And for those seeking an extra thrill, there’s even talk of adding a twilight or night train in the future.

Little Shop of Horrors Costumery in Mornington is also a big fan of Halloween and is preparing for an influx of witches, goblins and ghouls looking for a suitably scary outfit and some frightfully good make-up for a night of trick-or-treating – see the feature opposite.

Meanwhile, the Frankston Spooky Adventure Path is also running over the Halloween period.  The Spooky Adventure Path is a trick-or-treating trail of Frankston businesses for children, proving just how popular Halloween has become in our neck of the woods!